There are many successful employees and executives in companies all around the globe who would attribute their success to just being active on LinkedIn. How do they do it? By keeping their profile updated, sharing relevant content, and publishing recommendations from former colleagues.
They believe that LinkedIn is a great tool for networking with the right audience. If you know how to use it the right way, it can lead to big things.
And why not? It has millions of job postings and companies registered on it. It gives you troves of data about companies, their activities, and people that you can potentially connect to.
But diving in headfirst and applying to jobs without prior preparation won't lead to much success—instead, it will be determined by how you act and capitalize on that data.
In this article, you will learn how to optimize your profile for a high success rate, find great companies, track your job applications, and automate the process! So, let’s begin…
Understanding the game
From the employer's position, hiring is usually one of the most important priorities to keep growing the company. No hiring manager enjoys the hiring and interview process, and most of the time, the hiring manager just wants to hire someone good and get back to work.
Hiring starts with a business need, it can be scaling social media marketing, expanding front-end development capabilities, launching a new sales office in a new location, or creating a new product line. Based on the business need, the hiring manager or the hiring committee will create the ideal profile for the candidate who can successfully fulfill the business need. The profile will be turned into a JD, and recruiters will start to search for candidates who match the profile. This usually happens on LinkedIn and in exclusive candidate databases.
Recruiters and hiring managers also want to find candidates quickly and easily. And if you can make their process simpler, it’ll also increase your chance of being discovered and hired.
Before we begin: Optimize your profile
Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.”
Before we start looking up cool companies and job openings, we need to do some leg work. Imagine you crushed it with your job application. Then 64% of hiring managers are going to check out your LinkedIn profile to further qualify you.
And here is the big question. Looking at your current LinkedIn profile how likely would they be to invite you for an interview?
Would your profile make them feel like you are their dream candidate?
If YES, then you will be automatically shortlisted and get to be the first during the interview process. The odds will be stacked in your favor.
But if your profile is “meh,” then you’d have to fight the uphill battle. So let’s optimize your LinkedIn profile first. It’s not rocket science!
1. Make your profile up-to-date
If you haven’t updated your profile since your last job or when you were still at University, now is probably the time.
Maybe you switched your field, have different goals now, or accumulated great relevant experience. Whatever it might be, it’s important to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and reflects your career path.
2. Create a friendly profile picture and Leverage the banner image
LinkedIn isn’t Instagram, but pictures are still just as important to create a great first impression with companies and recruiters.
According to LinkedIn, the ideal size for your profile picture is 400 x 400 pixels. But it’s not all about dimensions and file sizes. Here’s an example of a minimalistic profile:
Although it gets the job done, this is a fairly plain profile and doesn’t create enthusiasm around John’s profession. Instead, take a look at Austin Belcak’s profile:
Doesn’t it seem much more lively and exciting? As you can see, the profile banner can be prime real estate to visually show recruiters and other users how you can provide value. You can show what you do and provide a call-to-action like visiting your website or signing up for your newsletter! A picture can tell a thousand words, so use the right ones on your profile page.
3. Write effective resumé bullet points
Did you know that a recruiter scans a resumé in under 5-6 seconds on average? Those few seconds determine if your resumé is given to a hiring manager for further consideration or put at the bottom of a pile where it won’t see the light of day ever again.
The best way to get noticed and keep recruiters reading further is by coming up with effective resumé bullet points. Here’s a template that you can follow whenever writing about your accomplishments:
[Quote Style] Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y], by doing [Z].
Let’s take two examples. You tell us which is the better one:
Isn’t the first one just amazing? The most crucial factor here is quantifying your achievement and providing a baseline for effective comparison. Nothing turns a recruiter off quite like vague and unsupported claims or just plain numbers. So, if you quantify your achievements and add proper numerical data, you’ll be miles ahead of others!
4. Let recruiters know you’re open to finding a new job
It’s also important to let recruiters know that you are looking for a job. This can be done on your profile page.
It's also essential to open your privacy settings so recruiters and other people can find you too! While on this page, also remember to turn off profile updates.
As long as it doesn’t affect your privacy, you preferably want to open up your profile to allow most users to connect with you and get the widest possible reach.
Finding jobs by company
Now that you’ve got your LinkedIn profile all spruced up, it’s time to search for some jobs! Before we see how to search according to keywords and location, first let's aim high! The truth is, most people hate their jobs. All day, they just slog away at their desk working for a company that they dislike. But, if you want to do something better, you need to aim for the “dream” job: one that makes you feel excited and even a bit nervous. This is important if you believe that factors like workplace culture, long-term goals, and upward mobility play a significant role in your overall job satisfaction. Let’s do it.
I. Make a list of your ten favorite companies
Look around your room and browse through your phone. Which products and services that you use in your daily life do you love the most? It can be anything, a handbag from a local startup, a ride-sharing app, or a fun video game.
There’s a good chance that you’ll love working at a company whose products and services you find valuable. Or, you can also think about what kind of companies the people you admire would gravitate towards.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What products or services am I most passionate about?
- Which companies are innovating the most and pushing the boundaries?
- What kind of workplace culture and values do I prefer the most?
Based on the answers, create a list of your top ten favorite companies. When making this list, the Bardeen chrome extension can be useful. You can save the LinkedIn company data with one click directly to a template in Notion, Google Sheets, or Airtable. No copy pasting required! You can find many more automations like in the Dream Job Hub.
Also, be sure to follow all the companies you put on your list. This will keep you updated about company news and new positions as they open up.
II. Pick the top three best companies and check out the jobs available
If you want to land your dream job, it’s better to be Jason Bourne rather than John Rambo. Jason Bourne is a calm and patient sniper who prepares meticulously for each shot while John Rambo mostly prefers to go in guns blazing. So, you need to be as patient and focused as a sniper rather than shoot a machine gun haphazardly and hope it somehow hits the right spot.
Since you’re going to be spending a lot of time applying and interviewing for your dream position, you might as well aim for the best. So, visit the pages of the top three overall best companies in your list and click on the ‘Jobs’ tab. Here, you’ll see what positions they’re currently hiring for.
If there are no new positions available, don’t sweat it! Instead, you can check out the Careers or Jobs page on their official website for any positions that they didn’t post on LinkedIn.
Based on the contact details there, you can reach them directly. Good ol’ email generally works, but the cool thing about LinkedIn is that it’s possible to contact the hiring manager or recruiter directly for a more personalized touch. Moreover, one option you have is creating a job alert on LinkedIn to be notified instantly when a position opens up in the future.
If you have many jobs on your radar, it could get difficult to keep track of each one of them by memory. For that, LinkedIn lets you ‘Save’ jobs which will appear in the ‘My Jobs’ section in the Jobs tab at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
Unfortunately, this tool is only limited to LinkedIn and is not customizable. Instead, we prefer to use Notion to track job applications. With the freedom that Notion provides compared to LinkedIn, it’s just a much better option. You can set the status of jobs based on the stage of the application in the pipeline, add extra details, color-code it, and a lot more.
Check it out here.
Finding jobs by position and location
If you don't have a definitive list of companies you love in mind, but have a great idea of what you want to do and the position you want to be in, you can try searching for jobs directly. Many people often overestimate the importance of where they’re working compared to what they’re doing. If you’ve dedicated yourself to a specific skill set, you should prioritize the job position over the company.
Truth be told, sometimes there are smaller and lesser-known companies that you don't know about yet but are still just as awesome. One of the main ways you can do this is by using the Jobs tab at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
Once you open that tab, follow these steps.
I. Filter jobs in LinkedIn search
Based on the job role or position that you have in mind, enter the relevant keywords in this box. The more specific, the better. For example, if you’re a writer, avoid just searching “Writer.” Instead, be more specific, like “Tech freelance writer” or “Lifestyle article writer” and more. Know what service you bring to the table, and search based on that. This will help you cut through irrelevant job postings.
You can also browse through the recommended jobs LinkedIn’s algorithm shows you on this page to get an idea of what you can search for.
After that, you also need to enter your preferred location. If you don’t want to work in person at an office, you can choose the ‘Remote’ option in the drop-down menu.
If you want, you can add further filters at the top of the search results page to make your selection even more specific. As you can see, you can filter using how recent the job posting is, experience level, company, job type, and location.
Now, you can just go through this list and handpick jobs that you’d like to apply to. If you want to transfer info about those jobs to a spreadsheet for later consideration, you can avoid endless copy-pasting by using Bardeen. The ‘Copy list of LinkedIn job posts to a Google Sheet’ Playbook will allow you to do this in just a few clicks!
II. Research people and look for common connections
LinkedIn is all about connections. As Austin Belcak says, whenever LinkedIn is mentioned, “connection” is one of the first words that come to mind. If you can connect with the right group of people, they can bring you closer to your dream job.
One great way to find people is to join relevant Groups. You can sign up for up to fifty. Be sure to read the content posted there and then share your own. It can be articles, blog posts, or studies. Avoid being self-promotional and try to provide value for other members to spark engagement. Respond to any comments and keep the conversation going. Over time, you'll soon develop a social circle with common goals and interests.
If you find any interesting people and want to create a spreadsheet with their details to contact them later, you can skip the boring copy-pasting part with Bardeen. Using the LinkedIn profile to Notion or Pipedrive Playbook, you can do that with just one right click!
III. Apply for jobs
After you’ve landed on a few jobs you want to apply to, it’s time to start sending out applications! Before you get into the technicalities of applying, we would recommend you check out the next section about personalization. It’s the cold hard truth: less than 2% of online applicants land an interview. So, you always need to find a way to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Once you’re ready for it though, you can follow these steps. First, just go over to the job page and click the ‘Apply’ button. If there’s an ‘Easy Apply’ button, you can click on it instead. As the name implies, Easy Apply is a simplified way to apply for a job on LinkedIn itself rather than being redirected to the company’s website. It even auto-fills some fields using profile data.
Once you click it, a popup will appear. You can enter the required details, like your phone number and resumé. Be sure to check if you’ve added all the info by clicking ‘Review’. Once finalized, click ‘Submit Application.
Personalization & maximizing your chances
You now know how to find and apply for awesome jobs on LinkedIn, but there’s one fact you need to keep in mind before you go ahead and start sending out applications. As noted before, online applicants like you have less than a 2% chance of landing an interview. However, no need to worry. If you can find a way to provide value, you won’t even need to apply—you’ll be approached for an interview directly!
The secret sauce, according to Austin Black, is to “find people at your dream company who can influence the hiring process and provide them with tons of value.” Yes, companies love it when you start creating value for them even before you are hired! Austin calls this a ‘Value Validation Project (VVP)’ and it’s defined as “a deliverable that benefits an influential contact at the company you want to work for.” It can be data about an untapped market, an idea to increase sales or a solution to improve efficiency.
Austin recommends you spend 10-20 hours per application. You can spend this time working on your VVP, researching the company, and planning how you can present yourself in the most relevant way.
The Jason Bourne vs. John Rambo analogy comes into play here again. Which one do you think is better? Aiming for a great job, going all out with a solid VVP, and acing the interview? Or shooting your shot at hundreds of positions and just hoping one of them hits the target?
Let us give you an example of this. Austin’s friend, who wanted to work at Uber, took a step further besides simply sending in his resumé. He shared a survey and took feedback from his friends that rode Uber daily.
Based on the data he received, he found patterns and built out a deck. He emailed the results to as many people as he could be employed at Uber. The best part? It worked!
If you want to replicate his results, start simple. Try to find out who among your connections is working at your dream company. Reaching out to these people and asking them insightful questions can go a long way. Moreover, you can also keep an eye out for alumni at your college or University working at that company now. Based on that mutual connection, you can ask them for help.
As with this and many other examples, you’ll notice that data scraping can be crucial for knowing in which area you need to create value. Just take Nina, one of the people Austin mentioned in his article. She wanted to work at Airbnb, so she created a report about which countries Airbnb needed to expand. All of this was thanks to the data she collected.
In a similar vein, Austin’s friend sent out a survey to his friends and collected data that was useful to Uber. What if you want to pull data from a public database? It could be related to e-commerce, real estate, or customer reviews. For that, you could check out Bardeen Scraper to boost your efforts and save you from hours of copy-pasting.
Streamline the process with the Dream Job template
Let’s be honest, job hunting is a tough process. There are a lot of moving parts and it’s difficult to manage your applications. How about if there was a one-stop shop for landing your dream job on LinkedIn? With the Dream Job Hub, you’ll gain access to eight free templates and databases, many one-click automations, action items to guide you in the right direction, and access to job-hunting experts and other learning resources!
Here are some Playbooks that could save you a ton of time and come in handy in your job hunt on LinkedIn.
Copy LinkedIn profile data to a Google Sheet: If you want to copy over a bunch of different profiles and save them in a spreadsheet, this Playbook can save you hours of copy-pasting. This Playbook is also available for Airtable, ClickUp, Pipedrive, Coda, and Notion!
Enrich a list of LinkedIn links from a Google Sheet: Do you have a list of high-value LinkedIn profile links available but want to skip the tiring copy-pasting part? If yes, you’ll love this Playbook.
Save profiles from LinkedIn search to Notion: If you’re interested in profiles associated with a certain keyword and want to copy them over to Notion, you can use this Playbook.
Connect with a list of LinkedIn contacts: Connecting with people on LinkedIn can play a huge part in helping you land your dream job. They can endorse your skills and even provide a recommendation. With this Playbook, you can connect to a bunch of people by simply collecting their links. Be mindful to use it without caution.
Just came across an incredible job posting but don’t want to waste your time copying it over to other platforms. With just a right click, you can instantly save the job title along with hiring contact and company details!
Save a job from Linkedin to Notion with right-click: This is similar to the Playbook above, except it’s more minimal. Besides Notion, it’s also available for Coda and Airtable!
If you’re impressed by this and want more, be sure to check out the Dream Job Hub. It’s free, and you might discover more than what you originally wanted and learn something new!
Imagine one block in front of you. Pick it up and look at it—it represents one hour of your life. Now, try to imagine roughly 90,000 more blocks to add to it. That is how much time a person spends on their job on average. That’s one-third of a lifetime.
Having a job that you love (in a company you love!) can skyrocket your overall happiness and level of life satisfaction. With troves of data at your fingertips, LinkedIn can help you achieve exactly that. However, it can be hard to navigate. In this article, we gave you the tips and tricks necessary to succeed.
To help you on your way and make the manual labor of managing data easier, pay a visit to the Dream Job Hub and get access to a vast array of pre-built templates and automations.